>It’s been a funny old year for the choir – and when I say funny I mean “not at all funny in many ways”. Just over a year ago we (and when I say ‘we’ I mean ‘the Tottenham Community Choir committee’ - even though at the time I was not on said committee, having resigned a few weeks earlier due to my unhappiness with the way things were going) dismissed our MD because we could no longer work with him despite months and months of trying our damnedest. And he was not happy about that, oh no. And he made life bloody difficult for the choir and the committee (and one committee member in particular, who has been the victim of an unbelievably nasty, vitriolic and sustained attack over the past few months).
But we kept going. We lost almost half our members as a result of our (not mine but I stand by it 100%) decision, and for a few months the membership was decidedly unpredictable. I personally wondered whether we would ever be able to regain the numbers we’d had last summer when we did our ill-fated and ill-advised concert at the Bernie Grant Centre.
We had a number of well-meaning and talented stand-in MDs over the next few months, but they all had other committments and we struggled to maintain our repertoire and continuity (and consequently our membership). There are a half dozen or so songs that we started learning under one MD, only to drop them in favour of others as a different MD took over. Understandable – of course each MD wants to make their mark and choose their own material. But unfortunately quite a few people (new and old) left us, quite possibly due to the lack of clear direction and constant changes of MD.
During this time the committee (which I was invited to rejoin as a non-voting associate) tried to recruit a permanent replacement and, happily, in February of this year Nick Williamson was appointed to fill the post. At around the same time the entire committee was voted back in (phew!), and from then it’s been a slow but steady uphill climb.
A few weeks ago we did a couple of fairly high profile gigs – one was a local food festival and the other was a benefit for the victims of the Tottenham riots (concieved and organised – almost as a sort of therapy – by the ‘victim’ mentioned above). And, possibly because of these, we’ve seen our numbers increase quite dramatically over the past few weeks to the point where we’re as big as we ever were. Morale is great and we’re riding high and singing fantastically (it don’t ‘arf ‘elp yer voice when yer ‘avin fun!).
As for the ‘other’ choir, they’ve moved East a mile or so and so we are now the only choir on West Green Road, and the only ‘local’ choir for N17. One or two people who have joined us after trying them say that we’re much more enjoyable and easy going – which is nice to know. I don’t think they’re any competition any more, and perhaps the ‘war’ is over.
…to be continued…?